International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) President Mohammed Hassan Zaroud (IRAQ) said he felt “relieved” on the day weightlifting was confirmed as an Olympic sport at the 2028 Los Angeles (LA) Games.
“It’s a day to celebrate, but we can’t see it as a ‘reform day,'” he said, adding, “For the future of weightlifting, we need to continue to reform.”
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) approved the inclusion of weightlifting and modern pentathlon, which were dropped from the 28 LA Olympic sports, at its 141st Session in Mumbai, India, on Sept. 16 (local time).
Weightlifting, a “sport of tradition” that has been a part of the Summer Games since the first edition in 1896, will retain its status until 2028.
“I am delighted to share this great news with weightlifters and athletes around the world,” said Zaroud in a statement, “The fact that weightlifting has retained its Olympic status is a testament to the hard work of everyone who loves the sport. We are grateful to the IOC for recognizing our efforts to make a difference.”
Despite overcoming major obstacles, weightlifting continues to receive “warnings” from the IOC.
At the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Olympics, a number of weightlifting medalists tested positive for banned substances when their urine samples were retested.
Allegations that the IWF executive, including former president Tamas Ayan, had aided and abetted doping, committed accounting irregularities, and more, were largely proven to be true.
While the sport was spared official expulsion, the number of Olympic weightlifting events was reduced from 15 at Rio de Janeiro 2016 to 14 at Tokyo 2020 in 2021, and only 10 will be held in Paris 2024.
Zaroud, who was elected in June 2021 and is spearheading the IWF’s reforms, has pulled the sport back from the brink of elimination by adhering to the standards set by the IOC, including delegating doping control of weightlifters to an independent organization, the International Testing Agency (ITA).
“If we look at the retention of the sport at LA 2028 as the end point of our reforms, we will be in crisis again,” said Zaroud. “Only by making weightlifting a healthier, more modern and athlete-centered sport can we fully emerge from the crisis we are in.”
IWF Athlete Commissioner Heidilyn Dias, who won the Philippines’ first ever Olympic gold medal in weightlifting in Tokyo, said: “The Olympics is a dream stage that every athlete aspires to reach. “We are fortunate that weightlifters have been given the opportunity to compete in the Olympics,” said IWF Athletes’ Commissioner Heidilyn Dias. “Now we need to work together to ensure that weightlifting is a sport that lives up to the Olympic spirit. The IOC will not regret today’s decision to make weightlifting an official sport.” 파워볼분석